Trevor R. Reed (born 1991)[1] is a United States Marine Corps veteran who was arrested in Russia in 2019 for violence against a Russian police officer. He was later sentenced to nine years in prison. His arrest has been criticized as motivated by political purposes. Following his arrest, his family engaged in a public advocacy campaign in order to secure his release from Russia.

In April 2022, Reed was released as a part of a prisoner exchange. The successful advocacy campaign of Reed's family, which pressured the U.S. government to secure his release from Russia, inspired the Bring Our Families Home Campaign.[2]

Incident and arrest

Following a party in August 2019, Reed became extremely drunk to the point that some friends and his girlfriend, Alina Tsybulnik, decided to leave so Reed could recover. After calling the police because they assumed a drunk tank would be safe, two officers took Reed and told Tsybulnik he could be retrieved shortly. Upon her arrival, however, she found Reed's face to be bruised and FSB officers there to interview him.[3] Reed was charged under part 2 of article 318 of Russia's Criminal Code, which refers to violence committed against Russian officers.[4][5] According to Russian authorities, while being driven to a police station, Reed grabbed for the officer driving causing the car to swerve about uncontrollably.[6]


On July 30, 2020, Reed was sentenced to serve nine years in a Russian prison, this in addition to time served since his arrest the previous year.[7] Reactions to the news were quick and severe. Ambassador John J. Sullivan issued a statement on behalf of the US embassy, in which he said, "Today, U. S. citizen Trevor Reed was convicted in a Russian court following a trial in which the prosecution's case and the evidence presented against Mr. Reed were so preposterous that they provoked laughter in the courtroom. Even the judge laughed."[8] He further guaranteed that "we will not rest until Trevor is freed and returns home to the United States."[8]


On April 27, 2022, Reed was released back to the United States as part of a prisoner exchange for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot convicted of drug smuggling.[9] Following his return, he and his family became advocates for helping to return Americans imprisoned overseas.[10]

In 2023, Reed joined the Ukrainian military to defend against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He was wounded by shrapnel from a land mine in July, and received treatment in Germany after being transported by a non-governmental organization. His decision to volunteer in the war, followed by his subsequent injury, spawned "exasperation" from the United States Department of State who discouraged Americans from traveling to or serving in Ukraine.[11]

Criticism of charges

Both Reed and his family have been intensely critical of the way in which the incident occurred and charges followed. Following his sentencing, Reed said, "I think anyone who has eyes and ears and who has been in this courtroom knows that I'm not guilty."[3] Reed's father, Joey Reed, said, "I don't know at what level this was pushed. But somewhere someone in the government has pushed for Trevor to not leave Russia. It's obvious. There's no way that anyone, Russian or American, should ever have been convicted of this nothing."[3]

According to testimony given by Tsybulnik, the officers' claim that the vehicle swerved as a result of Reed's assault was false, and she never saw the vehicle careen while following them to the police station.[12] Additionally, despite there being security cameras in the police vehicle and police station, no footage of the alleged incident was made available to Reed's defense attorneys. Instead, Russian authorities claimed that the relevant footage had been erased.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Mayorquin, Orlando (April 27, 2022). "Who is Trevor Reed? The newly freed former Marine who had been jailed in Russia since 2019". USA Today. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  2. ^ Breslow, Jason (2022-08-04). "The families of Americans who are wrongfully detained are very much done being quiet". NPR. Retrieved 2022-10-22.
  3. ^ a b c "Russia jails 2nd ex-US Marine Trevor Reed for 9 years amid criticism trials are political". ABC News. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  4. ^ "Crime Against Administration Procedure". Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  5. ^ "US student sentenced to 9 years in penal colony for assaulting police in Moscow". TASS. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  6. ^ "Russia jails former U.S. Marine for nine years on police assault charge". Reuters. 2020-07-30. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  7. ^ Nechepurenko, Ivan (2020-07-30). "Former Marine Sentenced to 9 Years in Russia in Case Criticized as Political". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  8. ^ a b "Statement by Ambassador John J. Sullivan on Conviction of U.S. Citizen Trevor Reed". U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Russia. 2020-07-30. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  9. ^ Tucker, Eric; Lee, Matthew (April 27, 2022). "Russia releases US Marine vet in surprise prisoner exchange". Associated Press.
  10. ^ LaPorta, James (July 25, 2023). "Freed in Russia Prisoner Swap, US Marine Injured Fighting in Ukraine (Exclusive)". The Messenger. Archived from the original on July 27, 2023. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  11. ^ Patil, Anushka; Cooper, Helene (July 25, 2023). "A former U.S. Marine who was freed in a prisoner swap was injured while fighting in Ukraine, the State Department said". The New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  12. ^ a b "2nd former US Marine held in Russia for months on charges his family says are false". ABC News. Retrieved 2020-08-09.